DOER Releases Draft Regulation for Fossil Fuel Free Building Demonstration Program
December 23, 2022
Director of Public Policy
The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) published a draft regulation and a model rule for public comment on the pilot program for the Municipal Fossil Fuel Free Building Demonstration Program.
The demonstration program allows up to 10 cities and towns to adopt and change zoning to require new building construction or major renovation projects to be fossil fuel-free. The Legislature included this pilot program as part of An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Windpassed in July 2022.
The draft regulation provides a selection preference for cities and towns that meet the compliance guidelines for the MBTA multifamily zoning requirement of section 3A of chapter 40A of the Mass. General Laws. The selection criteria also include whether the community has demonstrated local support and whether there have been localized electric grid investments needed to support the demonstration program.
As required by the legislation, the regulation also includes that any participating community must have achieved on the following housing thresholds:
1. The municipality has met the 10% affordability threshold on the Subsidized housing Inventory;
2. The municipality has been granted safe harbor status from Chapter 40B through a valid Housing Production Plan; or
3. The municipality has an approved a zoning ordinance or by-law that provides for at least 1 district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right; provided, that such multi-family housing shall be without age restrictions and shall be suitable for families with children, as evidenced by a determination of district compliance issued by the department of housing and community development pursuant to its guidelines implementing section 3A of chapter 40A of the General Laws.
DOER will host one virtual public hearing to receive verbal comments on the proposed regulation and model rule.
Verbal testimony will be accepted at the hearing; however, all parties giving verbal testimony are requested to provide written copies of their testimony.
Written comments will be accepted until 5 PM on February 10th. Please submit written comments on the regulations to the Department of Energy Resources electronically to email@example.com with the words TEN COMMUNITY DEMONSTRATION COMMENTS in the subject line. Alternatively, comments can be submitted via mail to Energy Efficiency Division, Department of Energy Resources, 100 Cambridge Street, 9th Fl, Boston, MA 02114.